GCC summit rejects Iran's interference in Gulf states' internal affairs

Tehran urged to resolve disputes peacefully

The 33rd summit of the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Tuesday demanded Iran immediately and permanently end interference in the internal affairs of their countries and reiterated the six states' rejection and denunciation of Iran's policies and measures which would increase tensions in the region and threaten its security and stability.

In a communique issued at the end of their two-day summit, the six member-states of the GCC also stressed on the need for Iran's commitment to the principles of good neighbourly relations, mutual respect and to resolving disputes through peaceful means without resorting to threats.

"The council expressed its rejection and condemnation of the continuing Iranian interference in the affairs of the Gulf Cooperation Council's states and called on Iran to stop these policies," the statement, read out by GCC Secretary-General Abdulatif Al Zayani, said.

The statement reiterated the GCC's rejection of the continued Iranian occupation of the three UAE islands: Abu Musa, and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, and its firm stance of fully backing the UAE's full sovereignty over its islands, including their regional waters, airspace, continental shelf and their exclusive economic zone, as integral and inseparable parts of the UAE.

The statement emphasised that all actions and measures taken by Iran on the three islands are null and void and change none of the historical and legal facts, all of which confirm the UAE's right to sovereignty on its islands.

It regretted that contacts with Iran on the issue of the UAE's islands had made no progress towards a solution that would enhance regional security and stability.

The GCC Supreme Council's statement also expressed concern over Iran's nuclear programme as a threat to regional and international security and peace, stressing that Iran and other states have right to have peaceful nuclear power and stressing the need for Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and bring its nuclear facilities under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The statement urged Tehran to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and implement its international commitments, including commitment to the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East and the Gulf region.

It expressed the GCC states' hopes for a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

Mohammed visits Emirati unit of Peninsula Shield Force in Bahrain

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,  Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai,  on Tuesday visited one of the Emirati units in the Peninsula Shield Force in Bahrain.

Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, as well as Lt. General Misbah Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of Sheikh Mohammed, were accompanying him.

Sheikh Mohammed and his entourage was received by Field Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and a number of senior military officers.

Sheikh Mohammed was given a military briefing on a number of topics and military tasks of the joint forces. He hailed the bravery and the competencies of military unit members who do their national duties with utmost efficiency, stressing the brotherly relations between UAE and Bahrain at all levels, and wished them good luck in their endeavours in defending peace in the region.

Later, Sheikh Mohammed was presented a commemorative plaque depicting an old picture of him with  King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain dating back to 1973 during his visit to Bahrain. He expressed gratitude and said the plaque had sentimental value for him.

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